Former American Idol Finalist Danny Gokey Encourages Teachers and Teens to Sing the Praises of Flu Prevention

Jan 28, 2010, 07:00 ET from The Clorox Company

Contest Returns in Encore Year to Put Music Education in the Spotlight

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former American Idol finalist Danny Gokey and The Clorox Company have teamed up to launch I Don't Want to Miss…, a national contest designed to get teens and their teachers involved in flu prevention.

The contest calls for teachers and teens to submit creative video entries of "I Don't Want to Miss…," a new song written by a music student about the ways the flu can take aim at teens' big moments, from the big dance to the big game. For each entry submitted, The Clorox Company will donate $100 (up to $10,000) to the Sophia's Heart Foundation, a charity founded by Gokey in honor of his late wife, Sophia, and dedicated to helping children achieve academic success via musical training and restoring musical dreams in children.

"From play practice to homework to the 'big game,' I know teens can't afford to miss a beat. I couldn't imagine missing out on key moments like American Idol because of the flu like some of my fellow competitors, or not having the opportunity to pursue my love of music," said Gokey. "That's why I'm excited about helping give others the chance to study music and achieve their goals by participating in this important flu prevention campaign."

Cold and flu is a major reason kids miss days at school and has already had a big impact on schools and students this year. In fact, at the start of the 2009 flu season, more than 65,000 students were out of school due to the H1N1 flu and 600 schools had already closed for a period of time due to an outbreak of the virus.

Put Your Spin on Prevention

This year, Clorox is calling on school musical groups nationwide to develop a video performance of a song by Berklee College of Music student Will Wells on what they would not want to miss out on if they were home sick and why prevention is important. Putting their own spin on the song is a great opportunity for students and teachers to be creative together in the classroom.

A judges' panel will select five finalists, and just like Idol, the winner will be America's choice through an online vote for the favorite video. The group that submits the winning video will receive a music class led by Gokey at their school. For the first 100 groups to submit, the teacher will receive a Clorox care package with items like disinfecting wipes to help their school disinfect frequently touched surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs.

For more information about the contest visit

Sick Days are "Ick" Days

Schools are a common place for flu viruses to spread. In fact, families with school-age children have more infections than other families, with an average of one-third of the family members becoming infected each year. Influenza is not the only respiratory infection of concern in schools -- nearly 22 million school days are lost each year to the common cold alone.

"It is very easy for teens to pick up illness-causing germs from their friends at school and spread them to their families and others," said Dr. Harley Rotbart, infectious diseases specialist and author of Germ Proof Your Kids. "Because teens have so much going on, it is very important that they follow simple prevention steps like getting vaccinated and practicing effective hand hygiene so they do not miss out on the big events in their lives. Parents can also help by making sure that frequently touched surfaces are disinfected as directed and that their teens eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly."

To help prevent the spread of flu viruses, in February 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the flu vaccination recommendations to include all children from six months through 18 years old.

Keep the Flu Virus Out of the Competition

There are various ways teachers and families can help "eliminate" flu viruses so they don't miss out on the things they care about the most. Vaccination is the first and most important step in seasonal flu and H1N1 prevention, but the following simple steps can also help prevent flu viruses from spreading:

  • After You Hi-Five, Wash Your Hands: Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds after any activity that involves others (like sports practice, play practice or school dances) or after touching frequently touched surfaces.
  • Disinfecting 101: It is important that frequently touched surfaces in the classroom and home and shared items like desks, cell phones and light switches, are disinfected as directed.
  • Share the Scoop… Not Your Sneeze: Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands to help prevent the spread of germs from touch.
  • The Health Teacher Is Right: Eat right (especially foods with lots of vitamin C), exercise, dress warmly when it's cold, and get plenty of sleep to help boost your body's ability to fight the effects of the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu.

About Danny Gokey

Danny Gokey became a favorite of millions of fans nationwide as a finalist on Season Eight of American Idol, and the Milwaukee native and 19 Recordings/RCA Nashville recording artist is now poised to release his debut country album, My Best Days, on March 2. Danny is already making new fans everywhere with the album's feel-good first hit single, "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me." Danny credits his late wife, Sophia, with the inspiration to pursue his musical dreams on Idol, and he continues to honor her with the charitable work of the Sophia's Heart Foundation, founded in her memory. For more information and all things Danny, visit him online at

About the Sophia's Heart Foundation

Sophia's Heart was founded in honor of Sophia, the late wife of Danny Gokey. Her legacy of love lives on via this organization by inspiring children's minds through music and arts, helping families succeed through interventions, and restoring hope to our communities. Many have already received hope by the helping hand of Sophia's Heart. As its after school programs continue to develop and community outreach extends out further, Sophia's Heart aims to transform the lives of countless children, youth and families. For more information, please visit

About The Clorox Company

The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2009 revenues of $5.5 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products; Green Works® natural cleaners; Armor All® and STP® auto-care products; Fresh Step® and Scoop Away® cat litter; Kingsford® charcoal; Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings and sauces; Brita® water-filtration systems; Glad® bags, wraps and containers; and Burt's Bees® natural personal care products. With approximately 8,300 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $77 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2009 alone, the foundation awarded $3.6 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $7.8 million. For more information about Clorox, visit

SOURCE The Clorox Company